Since I had already traced out my pattern beforehand I was ready to go with the top once I got to class. There was only one other student there. She brought in a beautiful crepe de chine. Compared to my navy woven, her top turned out so floaty and feminine. It’s pretty neat how different the same top could look in a different fabric. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture but you’ll have to take my word for it.
The only thing we did different in class compared to my work at home is that we zigzagged each pattern piece before we sewed it all together. This was pretty time consuming. I still had to do more fitting adjustments once I completed the top so doing this step was unnecessary since I had to cut it off anyway! Normally I would sew it all together then overcast it once I’ve finalized everything. But for those who perfectly fit the finished garment measurements I think this is a good step! You don’t want your stuff falling apart in the wash.😉
The top was much better than the dress. But maybe because I was prepared and knew what I’d be getting into. The other student was able to complete her top it in the allotted class time of 4 hours. I finished mine at home because I was slow and chatted too much as usual, lol. But I got about 98% of it done in class.
Like the dress I sewed a size 0 and took in 2 inches from each side. This time I didn’t bother turning the neck facing under 1/4″ before attaching it. Because we zigzagged each piece the delicate fabric started to get wavy, making it harder to keep it flat. I do have a little blip in my neckline because of this but whatever, the top still works and looks nice. See, I do know how to overlook things sometimes and am not a TOTAL perfectionist, lol.
As for overall thoughts- I have to say I didn’t like this pattern at all. I have a few gripes. Upon opening the instruction booklet, my initial thought was “Wow, this is printed on really nice cardstock paper”. Then I started flipping through the instructions. It’s printed by category, i.e. hems, sleeves, neck facing, etc. I would have much rather this be in the order of each view, even if it meant they would have to repeat themselves. Maybe I’m just used to Big 4 but having it printed by category meant a lot of flipping around trying to find what is the next step.
Another thing I didn’t like is that the cutting layout was printed on the tissue paper itself. Again, because this wasn’t in the instruction booklet it was a bit annoying having to consult the booklet then the tissue for direction. It was just too much back and forth for me, especially since my normal process is to trace the pattern then file away the original.
Additionally, the SIZING really bugged me. To be fair, Wiksten does state that there is more ease in the dress, but I didn’t realize HOW much I’d be chopping off. It was a lot of reworking for such a simple design. I would expect this from a more complex pattern- like one with darts or one with a fitted skirt.
More cautions about sizing on their website. Shift Dress + Top Sewing Pattern: Choosing Your Size – Wiksten (shopwiksten.com)
I guess they just leave it up to you on how you like your clothes to fit, but I feel like they should have more accurate sizing because I don’t know any sewists that enjoy the fitting process. In fact, I think fitting is what scares people off from sewing!
Lastly, the pattern was $20, which (to me) is pretty expensive. I feel like I paid mostly for all that fancy thick paper and sturdy cardboard packaging.
My rating for the top is 4/5 and the dress is 3/5. Because of all my gripes above I gave it an overall rating of 3/5 on PR. Official Review: Wiksten Wiksten Shift Dress & Top pattern review by RosieSews2
It wasn’t the best sew but it wasn’t horrible either. On a positive note, I do have a new homemade top and dress in my closet! I am always happy to have a new make and more experience behind the machine. I love the fabric too- it is super comfortable and great quality! Additionally, I was able to support a local business and indie pattern company by my purchase. But most importantly, I was able to chat about sewing and meet other sewists in the class. So if you combine all those things together, the $20 Wiksten pattern was worth it.